Current Work | Assemble:Elbmessa

Tuesday, January 31, 2023, 7 - 9pm

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Assemble | Sugarhouse Studios Stratford, London, United Kingdom, 2011–2016. Image courtesy Assemble

Assemble | Sugarhouse Studios Stratford, London, United Kingdom, 2011–2016. Image courtesy Assemble

This event will be conducted in-person only. 

Assemble is a collective working across disciplines including architecture, research, design, and public art. Founded in London in 2010 to undertake a single self-built project, Assemble has since delivered a diverse and award-winning body of work. The collective maintains a democratic and cooperative practice that enables built, social, and research-based projects at a variety of scales. 

In the words of a 2015 Metropolis profile, Assemble is “working to create an open, flexible, participatory, and exciting city, based on architectural projects that are ad hoc, handmade, built by volunteers, and fundamentally of their respective, very urban sites.”

Recent projects include: 

  • Assemble Play, a series of easily replicable, high-quality, free-to-access play opportunities within homes, towns, and cities
  • Bridport Housing, a research project looking at new forms of community-led housing provision for rural and semi-rural contexts
  • Sugarhouse Studios Bermondsey, a workspace for artists, designers, and fabricators whose design enables and supports co-working and collaboration.

Assemble won the Turner Prize in 2015 and the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2017. Their work is included in the upcoming group exhibition at Art Omi, Shared Space—Collective Practices, opening on January 21, 2023.

The lecture will be presented by Mary Anderson and Owen Lacey, two members of Assemble.

Mary Anderson has worked across the fields of architecture and set design in London and Berlin. She has researched self-build bio-construction methods using hempcrete and timber and, more recently, has contributed to Dreamachine, a touring immersive public art commission.

Owen Lacey has worked between the art and architecture worlds. He studied fine art and has worked with multiple galleries and practices. As the general manager of Assemble, Lacey focuses on the inner operations of the collective and develops collaborative methods of practice.

This program will be moderated by Jerome Haferd. Haferd is an assistant professor at The Bernard & Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at City College and a founding principal of the Harlem-based design and architecture firm BRANDT : HAFERD.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

This lecture is co-sponsored with The Architectural League of New York.

Tickets are free for Cooper Union students and faculty with valid ID, and League members. For ticket inquiries, please refer to The Architectural League of New York website

Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.